Saturday, May 31, 2014

Beyond the Agony and the Ecstasy

They talk about broken hearts like they’re a bad thing; like they’re only something that can happen in a romantic relationship. I have found neither to be true.

Instead, I have found my heart breaking over and over again, having little to do with romance at all, and everything to do with finding myself with a deeper capacity to feel inside my broken heart than I ever did when I thought my heart to be whole. Whole, or, perhaps more accurately, wholly closed.

There’s another word that we’re missing in this language, invisible audience. It is the word for whatever lies beyond the limits of agony and ecstasy, when suddenly you find that your heart has split nearly in half. It is like fresh road rash exposed to the air: it hurts more than you can imagine to allow oxygen to brush against it, never mind anything tactile. It hurts that it is open to air, and it also hurts to know that air is what will make it heal the fastest and with the least amount of scar tissue.

In the case of emotional road rash, it’s not actually pain. It’s something else. It’s not love; it’s not hate. It’s closer to grief, hangs next to anguish, but also near to the ecstasy that comes from deep passion, connection – orgasm, even. It rides a tightrope between agony and ecstasy and feels like a delicious terrible concoction of both at 100% potency.

It, well, it feels far more than anything else, and that is what it is. It could feel like pain, but it also feels like change. It’s scary, messy, causes tears to well up and overflow, and an ache in the chest. It is a deep unnamed feeling that leaves everything beyond and outside of it pale in comparison.

What is it? It is heartbreak. It is the nerves exposed to air, measuring the humidity, the heat, a better barometer than anything manmade, and it is also completely inexplicable, try as I might to explain.

Oftentimes, in a moment of profound pleasure, be it sexual, emotional or physical, I find that a lump appears in my throat and my chest begins to ache. It is not pain, necessarily, but it is certainly not all pleasant. Instead, I think, it must be the feeling of my heart expanding: cracking open over and over again, each crack creating more space, more room, more heart.

And that is where I find myself this week, invisible audience. I am heartbroken, in a way that causes me to weep openly, to shy away from touch as if it burns on the nerves laid bare within my skin, although the wound is invisible. It feels as if the bandages I have wrapped around myself are unraveling, and my pores are drinking in the air as if they have been starving and deprived.

Although there is pleasure in this feeling, there is also a lot of pain. Although it is growth, it is also a shrinking of an old self; a withering of old ideas as new ones burst forth to grow something wild and different.

I can’t say it hurts, but it sure as fuck doesn’t feel good. I suppose that all I can say is that it feels, invisible audience, in a way, a depth and a mixture of burning hot and icy cold that it has never felt before.

Though it is near impossible to explain without having the word, it is there nonetheless, like a scar peeling away from the inside of the skin, finally allowing the air to come in, the lungs to fill to capacity, and the world to burst into vibrant, violent color before my eyes.

Nothing in the world has changed, except me. And in me, everything is different.

Love and ecstatic agonized kisses